Bridging the environmental knowledge gap – a conservation failure

A few weeks ago, NSW Treasurer and member for Bega Andrew Constance, while announcing he will be standing for the state election again, praised the professionalism and dedication of the NSW public service. Quoted in friday’s Bega District News, Andrew Constance called a Department of Primary Industries (DPI) proposal to re-introduce fish netting in some coastal lakes, “ludicrous and clumsy”.

The DPI are also proponents of the ludricrous notion that trees on agricultural land are what koalas prefer, in the Bega electorate.

Also on friday, a couple of days after my letter to the editor, the new NSW Environment Minister spoke on ABC radio,didn’t say much, but praised the initiatives of the former minister. He also emphasized the NSW Cabinet will be making all decisions with regard to native vegetation management.

The DPI has remained with Minister Katrina Hodgkinson, whom I’ve yet to write too again, but it’s clear its ideas have a significant influence on Cabinet decisions.

The conservation group SERCA are in a similar situation, except its acceptance of the DPI’s claims is indirect, via an unquestioning support for the OE&H.

Hence, its website indicates ‘SERCA believes that community groups on the coast have attempted to constructively participate in formal environmental processes, but are not succeeding in protecting the coast from damaging development, nor from inappropriate land and forest management practices.’


Of course if one were keen on appropriate land and forest management practices, it would be sensible to support them. Under current management elsewhere, the log in the shot above would have been burned, not long after it was cut down.

However, this log has been laying in the same location since the tree was cut down in 1981. This time frame is beyond the maximum burn times employed in National Parks, although more recently most of the eucalyptus trees around it have died.

According to SERCA  they have been ‘unable to bridge the gap between the real environmental and community concerns and the ‘lip service’ from state and local government.’

Alternatively, SERCA could be seen as being very similar to state and local government when it comes to real environmental and community concerns, thus ensuring the gap is never bridged.


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